Cost of Living in NOVA - how? — The Bump
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Cost of Living in NOVA - how?

Hi Ladies.

 My DH has been contacted by an agency in DC about a job.  He will be talking to them again in the new year.  We live in Texas.  I have been doing a little research and the rent is SOOO expensive.  Any areas worth looking into that are more affordable than others?  I have been poking around in Alexandria.  I have two little ones (4 and 22 months) that are currently in Spanish Immersion Daycare here in Texas... not sure if that is something that is available in NOVA either.  Anyway let me know if you have any info. to offer. 



Re: Cost of Living in NOVA - how?

  • Where would this job be located? Will you have a job when you get here? Traffic here is HORRENDOUS so you'll want to partly base your decision on where to live based on where your jobs are located. If we know that, we can probably give you more advice.
  • K St, NW in DC... 20007 is the zip. 

    Who knows, this could not play out but of course I am anxious about it and started looking into the area just a bit...  I have never even visited this area. 

    I will not be working initially because I would need to get my children adjusted and look into daycare/pre-school.

     Just not sure this move would work out COL wise so we will just have to see how things play out in the new year Party!!!




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  • The cost of living is high, especially closer in areas. For Spanish immersion- are you looking at alexandria that is in fairfax county? Is there a budget you are trying to stay within? I would highly recommend renting for the first year you are here so tunable sure you end up in an area you really like if you are going to buy.


    I am in Alexandria (city) so let me know of yu have any questions. 

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  • I highly recommend that you look into the North Springfield area (22151) for affordability and convenience. It's right at the beltway and 395 and close to VRE for an easy (relatively) commute into DC. There are always houses to rent in my neighborhood.
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  • I'm from Dallas, so yes, I can attest to the fact that the cost of living is much higher here.  I wouldn't really consider a move like that unless the new job is a much higher salary than he's making in Texas.  

    As far as areas to look into -  Around Arlington are Alexandria, Falls Church, Tysons Corner (McLean), and Fairfax - all are good (safe) areas with a lower cost of living than Arlington.  

     Alexandria has Old Town, which is the downtown area with tons of character, great for families, people with dogs love it, lots of fun dining options, but outside of Old Town, the rest of Alexandria is just 'meh' - almost a little dumpy in areas.  Tysons Corner has lots of great shopping, but it's a traffic nightmare during rush hour (they are eventually putting a Metro station near Tysons).  Falls Church is much more "neighborly" with lots of residential and little neighborhood shopping strips.  I really like Falls Church, but it's still pricey.  McLean is lots of residential and lots of churches (much more like Texas, in my opinion).  Fairfax has a lot to offer with lower prices than Arlington.  Lots of families in Fairfax.  Much further out is Reston, with more Texas-like real estate prices and bigger lots, and lots of brand new developments, but the commute into DC would be at least an hour each way with traffic.

    I hope that helps!! 

  • If his office will be near a metro (hard to tell because some parts of K Street are in Georgetown, which is not super easy from the metro), I would consider living somewhere along the orange line.  I'm in Fairfax (the county, not the city) between the Dunn Loring and Vienna metros.  It takes me about 45 minutes to get into work via Metro and about the same driving.  There are a lot of townhouses and condos in our area that would be appropriate for a family with cheaper rents than Arlington, but still high compared to Texas.  (I'm from KY, so understand the sticker shock.)  East Falls Church is also a good area.

    No clue about Spanish Immersion in NOVA.  A friend's little girl does an Immersion program (can't remember if it is Spanish or French) but it is either in DC or Montgomery County.

    ETA: When considering cost - make sure to budget for parking if your DH plans to drive to work.  In most of downtown DC, you're looking at ~$230/month for parking.


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  • Living here on one income is a challenge.  If he's considering the job make sure it pays well!

    Alexandria can be expensive - not all parts of course, but ditto North Springfield - zip code 22151 - as a place to look for a rental house if you want to rent for a year before deciding where to live permanently.

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  • In the DC area there is a tradeoff between commute and living space (size of house/yard).  The closer you live to the city, the more expensive and smaller the home, but you have an easier commute. 

    On the oldtownmoms board, someone posted this house for rent, have a look, it's in Alexandria (22302). 

     For more affordable rent (but far from the city), I would look at Manassas, Centreville, and Loudon County (Leesburg, Ashburn, Sterling).  Lorton, Burke, and Springfield areas are closer to the city and affordable.

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  • Found this Spanish Immersion program in Alexandria



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  • The other thing that i'd consider with two little ones is the cost of daycare. It is PRICEY. We are paying over $400/week - there are slightly cheaper ones ($350/week) that i had a hard time thinking of my kiddo going to and then there are in-hom daycares, which are much cheaper with some great options if you can find the right person. In-home daycares can be about $250/week. All these prices are for one infant so you might have more reasonable rates for an older child but i did want to tell you about this as well, in case it impacts your decision. Good luck!!!!
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